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How Benign Are 'Benign' Breast Findings? Study Finds Link to Higher Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Many women feel a lump in their breast or receive an abnormal result on a screening mammogram that turns out to be a cyst or other type of non-cancerous growth.

With this news comes a huge sigh of relief, but it may not be the end of the story, new ...

1 in 5 Young Women Has No Plans to Get a Mammogram

Terlisa Sheppard knows the value of tracking changes in her body.

The Orlando Health patient was eight and a half months pregnant and just 31 years old when she felt a lump under her arm. She left work to get it checked out and "didn't return back to work because that is the evening that I found out I had breast cancer," Sheppard said.

Now, 23 years later -- and long after deliveri...

Katie Couric Announces Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Former TV newswoman and TODAY show anchor Katie Couric has breast cancer.

Couric shared that information Wednesday on Instagram, while also releasing an essay about the experience on her media website.

"Every two minutes, ...

Why Do Black Women Have More Delays for Lifesaving Breast Biopsies?

Women of color may face delays in getting a biopsy after a screening mammogram suggests they might have breast cancer, a large, new study finds.

Researchers found that compared with white women, Asian, Black and Hispanic women were all more likely to wait over a month ...

Pandemic Caused Millions of U.S. Women to Skip Cancer Screenings

Millions of U.S. women missed breast, cervical and colon cancer screenings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study.

It found that compared to 2018, the number of women in 2020 who said they had breast cancer screening in the past year fell by 2.13 million (6%). The number of women who ...

Obesity Stigma Keeps Many From Life-Saving Cancer Screening: Study

Many people who are overweight or obese avoid cancer screening for fear of stigma and judgment about their weight, British researchers report.

In a review of 10 published studies, researchers found that many doctors around the world don't look kindly on patients with obesity, an attitude that can affect tre...

Half of Women Will Get False-Positive Mammogram Over 10 Years of Screening

Fully half of all women who have annual mammograms to screen for breast cancer will receive a false-positive test result over a decade of screening, according to a new study.

False-positive results call for further testing and eventually rule out cancer. False alarms can certainly increase anxiety.

"Women undergoing screening mammography should be aware that being recalled for addit...

Missed Cancer Screenings During Pandemic Could Raise Death Rate for Years

The early months of the COVID-19 pandemic kept millions of Americans away from routine cancer screenings. Now a new study finds that many U.S. screening programs were still not back to normal by 2021.

The study, of more than 700 cancer facilities nationwide, found that in January 2021 - a year after COVID's emergence in the United States - most still had not recovered their pre-pandemic s...

Mammograms Can Also Highlight Heart Risks: Study

Your annual screening mammogram may do more than spot breast cancer early - it may give you a heads up on your heart disease risk, too.

Digital breast X-rays can also detect a build-up of calcium in the arteries of your breasts, an early sign of heart disease. These white ...

Fewer Breast Cancers May Be 'Overdiagnosed' by Mammograms Than Thought

Screening mammograms can lead to overdiagnosis of breast cancer, but a new study finds it happens less often than experts have thought.

Researchers estimated that about 15% of breast cancers caught through routine mammography screening are overdiagnoses -- meaning the tumors would never have caused h...

Are Breast Self-Exams Necessary? The Answer May Surprise You

A shift in thinking means it's OK to skip your monthly breast self-exam -- but don't miss your regular professional checkup and diagnostic imaging, health experts say.

A periodic visual check in a mirror can be helpful, breast health experts from the Cedars-Sinai health system in California suggest.

"Beginning at age 40, women with an average risk for breast cancer should rely on an...

AI Helps Rule Out Cancer in Women With Dense Breasts

While mammograms have reduced deaths by detecting breast cancers when they're small and easier to treat, it's less effective for women with dense breasts.

However, a new study finds that supplemental MRI screening can make a difference for these women, who are more likely to develop breast cancer. And new technology is being used to speed the process.

Artificial intelligence ca...

Can a Computer Program Help Docs Spot Breast Cancer?

An artificial intelligence tool could help radiologists spot breast cancer on ultrasound images and reduce the need for extra testing, new research suggests.

"Our study demonstrates how artificial intelligence can help radiologists reading breast ultrasound exams to reveal only those that show real signs of breast cancer, and to avoid verification by biopsy in cases that turn out to be be...

Your State's Laws Might Save Your Life If Breast Cancer Strikes

When Nancy Cappello was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer in 2003, she was stunned.

How could this have happened? She went for her annual screening mammogram every year and was always told that all was fine.

It wasn't.

Cappello had dense breasts, but no one had ever told her. "The tumor was likely growing for five to seven years," said her husband, Joseph Cappello. "At the...

AI May Not Be Ready to Accurately Read Mammograms

Radiologists still outperform artificial intelligence (AI) when it comes to breast cancer screening, a new paper shows.

Many countries have mammography screening programs to detect and treat breast cancer early. However, examining mammograms for early signs of cancer means a lot of repetitive work for radiologists, which can result in some cancers being missed, the authors explained.

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Pandemic Brought Big Drop in Breast Cancer Screening in Older, Low-Income Women

Many parts of the United States saw a significant drop in breast cancer screening of older low-income women during the COVID-19 pandemic, new research shows.

The analysis of data from 32 community health centers that serve low-income people found that breast cancer screening for 50- to 74-year-old women dropped 8% between July 2019 and July 2020. That wiped out an 18% increase between Jul...

Pandemic Delays in Screening Mean More Breast Cancer Deaths Ahead: Study

The COVID-19 pandemic could leave a grim legacy for women's health.

New research suggests that disruptions in breast cancer screening and treatment in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to an increase in deaths from the disease.

While mammography rates have accelerated in 2021, "facilities should prioritize screening women who missed their routine mammography ...

Most Cancer Screenings Make Big Rebound After Pandemic Decline

A major U.S. hospital system had a strong rebound in most cancer screening tests after a steep drop-off in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study shows.

The findings are based on an analysis of data from the Boston-based Mass General Brigham system. Depending on the type of test, between March and June of 2020, the number of cancer screenings dropped off between 65% a...

U.S. Deaths From Cancer Continue to Decline

Americans' overall death rate from cancer continues to fall -- but rising rates of certain cancers and ongoing racial disparities linger.

Those are among the findings of an annual report to the nation from several major cancer organizations.

The good news includes an accelerating decline in the overall cancer death rate, among both women and men, and across racial and ethnic groups....

Mammography Rates Plummeted During Pandemic

There was a sharp drop in mammography breast cancer screening during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the decline was especially severe among American women of color and those living in rural areas, new research shows.

Those trends could cost lives in years to come, because "detecting breast cancer at an early stage dramatically increases the chances that treatment will be successful," said stu...

Mammogram Rates Have Rebounded Since Pandemic Began, But Concerns Remain

When the pandemic first hit last spring, screening mammograms fell by the wayside as COVID-19 became the most pressing medical concern in the country, but U.S. testing rates rebounded by mid-summer, a new study shows.

But even though things have returned to normal, it still hasn't been enough to make up for those three months of delays, the researchers noted.

Investigators from the ...

Don't Delay Your Cancer Screenings, Surgeons' Group Urges

Many people may have postponed cancer screenings during the coronavirus pandemic, but a major medical group says now is the time to catch up.

The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer is urging people to resume recommended cancer screenings to prevent further delays that could lead to diagnosis after a cancer is more advanced.

"Regular cancer screening tests can improve...

U.S. Cancer Screening Rates Back to Normal After Pandemic Dip

After a sharp drop early in the COVID-19 pandemic, rates of routine breast and colon cancer screening soon returned to near-normal levels, a new study finds.

"These are the first findings to show that, despite real fears about the consequences of drop-off in cancer screens, health facilities figured out how to pick this back up after the initial pandemic restrictions," said lead study aut...

Many U.S. Mammography Centers Aren't Following Expert Guidelines: Report

An ongoing debate about when and how often women should undergo screening mammograms is intensifying in medical circles.

A new study and an editorial published online March 15 in JAMA Internal Medicine are adding new fuel to the fight.

The research suggests many U.S. screening centers are testing women earlier and more often than necessary, and an accompanying editorial war...

Skipping Mammograms Raises a Woman's Odds for Breast Cancer Death

Don't skip your breast cancer screening mammogram.

This is the overarching message of an extended study of more than a half-million Swedish women. Those who missed even one recommended screening mammogram were more likely to die from breast cancer, the study found.

The new findings -- which appear March 2 in the journal Radiology -- are concerning given the widespread delay...

Underarm Lump After COVID Shot Is Likely Lymph Swelling, Not Breast Cancer, Experts Say

That swollen lymph node under your arm could be a temporary side effect of a COVID-19 shot and not a sign of serious health problems.

Radiologists from Massachusetts General Hospital noticed an increase in patients with swollen underarm lymph nodes as they were doing routine mammogram screenings. So they established an approach to help prevent delays in both vaccinations and breast cancer...

3D Mammograms Best at Spotting Tumors, But Many Black Women Missing Out

Access to potentially lifesaving 3D mammography isn't equal, new research shows.

"This study was about whether adoption of this technology is equitable. We're showing that it has not been, even though it has been [U.S. Food and Drug Administration]-approved for a decade now," said Dr. Christoph Lee. He is professor of radiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, in Seattl...

COVID Vaccine Reaction Can Mimic Breast Cancer Symptoms, But Doctors Say 'Don't Panic'

One side effect of COVID-19 vaccination is creating undue fear among women, causing them to worry that they might have breast cancer.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can cause lymph nodes to swell, particularly those in the armpit on the side where the shot was received, experts say.

Some women are feeling these armpit lymph nodes and mistaking them for breast lumps, according ...

After Long Decline, Breast Cancers in Young U.S. Women Are On the Rise

Breast cancer death rates are inching up in American women under age 40 again, after more than two decades of decline, researchers say.

The study authors said they hoped their new report would lead to a deeper look at reasons for the change.

"Our hope is that these findings focus more attention and research on breast cancer in younger women and what is behind this rapid increase in ...

Program Helps Low-Income Women Get Needed Mammograms

Giving low-income women mammograms when they're hospitalized can boost their breast cancer screening rates, according to a new study.

Getting cancer screening tests can be challenging for low-income women due to factors such as a lack of transportation and not being able to take time off work, so researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital examined the impact of giving these women mam...

Cancer Screening Fell Sharply Early in Pandemic, But Has Rebounded

As clinics closed for non-essential care and patients' COVID-19 fears kept them from check-ups, the United States saw a steep drop in cancer screenings and diagnoses during the first peak of the pandemic, a new report finds.

Researchers analyzed data on how many patients underwent cancer screening tests -- procedures such as mammograms, colonoscopies, Pap tests, PSA blood tests for prosta...

Obamacare Helped More Americans Spot Cancers Early: Study

As the Affordable Care Act faces scrutiny once more from the U.S. Supreme Court, new research shows it may be helping to save American lives otherwise lost to cancer.

The study found that expansions of health insurance coverage through Medicaid -- a feature of Obamacare -- appeared tied to a rise in the number of cancers spotted via screening when they were still early in development. Can...

Mother and Son Draw Hope, Healing From Shared Cancer Treatment

Families bond over lots of shared experiences -- but one Leslie Seigel and her adult son, Josh, never expected to share was battling cancer.

Soon after Leslie finished chemotherapy for an aggressive form of breast cancer, however, Josh found himself waging his own battle with testicular cancer.

The mother and son soon learned they shared something else -- a genetic mutation ...

Mammograms in 40s Can Save Women's Lives, Study Finds

Adding to an ongoing debate over the timing of mammography, a new British study finds that screening women aged 40 to 49 for breast cancer saves lives, with only small increases in overdiagnosis.

"This is a very long-term follow-up of a study which confirms that screening in women under 50 can save lives," researcher Stephen Duffy, from Queen Mary University of London, said in a unive...

Many Older Americans Getting Cancer Screens They Don't Need: Study

Contrary to recommendations set by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, many Americans are getting screened for cancer even when old age or poor health would likely render such screenings risky and pointless, new research finds.

The task force notes that screening always entails some degree of risk, and cancer treatment can be harsh. So the reasoning is that neither the risk nor t...

'Lab-on-a-Chip' Blood Test Could Spot Breast Cancer Early

A cutting-edge "lab-on-a-chip" has shown promise in detecting early breast cancers and tumors that have developed in other parts of the body.

Roughly the size of a glass microscope slide, the EV-CLUE uses nanotechnology to pump a tiny amount of blood into eight miniscule channels equipped to detect different markers of cancer, explained co-researcher Liang Xu, a professor of molecular...

Very Early-Stage Breast Cancer Ups Long-Term Odds for Invasive Tumors: Study

Women with cancerous cells in their milk ducts -- also known as DCIS -- are at a high risk for developing fatal breast cancer, British researchers report.

DCIS is short for ductal carcinoma in situ, an early form of breast cancer. With stepped-up breast screening, it has become an increasingly common diagnosis.

Though it's not immediately life-threatening, DCIS more than dou...

Mammograms Do Save Women's Lives, Study Finds

There's good news for women: Getting a mammogram regularly can cut their odds of advanced and sometimes fatal breast cancers, a new study says.

European researchers tracked data from nearly 550,000 women in Sweden who were eligible for mammography screening.

The team compared rates of advanced and breast cancers that were fatal within 10 years after diagnosis for women who g...

Obamacare May Have Boosted Use of Mammograms

Medicaid expansion under Obamacare has increased access to mammograms for impoverished older women, a new study suggests.

In those states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), women who didn't have access to this breast cancer screening tool have it now, the study authors said.

"The ACA created a natural experiment in which some states expanded Medica...

AI Beat Humans in Spotting Breast Tumors

Machines can be trained to outperform humans when it comes to catching breast tumors on mammograms, a new study suggests.

Researchers at Google and several universities are working on an artificial intelligence (AI) model aimed at improving the accuracy of mammography screening. In the Jan. 1 issue of Nature, they describe the initial results: Computers, it seems, can beat radi...

Breast Density Alerts Might Not Be Helping Women

Having dense breast tissue raises a woman's odds for breast cancer, so many states require providers to notify women if a mammogram finds they have dense breast tissue.

But a new study suggests that the notifications may be having little impact in alerting women to their added breast cancer risk.

The goal of dense breast notifications is to spur a conversation between a wom...

AHA News: Could Mammograms Screen for Heart Disease?

By screening for breast cancer, mammography has helped save hundreds of thousands of lives. Using the test to also screen for heart disease might someday help save many thousands more.

Though expert guidelines vary, generally women are advised to have a mammogram every year or two starting at age 40 or 50. Nearly 40 million mammograms have been performed in the U.S. during the past y...

Does MRI Screening Benefit Women With Extremely Dense Breasts?

Health experts already know that women with extremely dense breasts don't get the same benefit from mammography as women without very dense breast tissue. But what hasn't been clear is if MRI screening might spot cancers that mammography didn't.

Now a new study from Dutch researchers found that when MRI was used in between mammography appointments, the women in the study were half as...

Switching Mammograms to Once Every 2 Years Could Come With Risks

Women who get mammograms every two years instead of annually might face a greater risk of being diagnosed with larger, later-stage breast tumors, a new, preliminary study suggests.

Researchers found that among 232 breast cancer patients at their hospital, those who'd undergone mammography screening every two years tended to have more advanced tumors: Of those 32 women, 44% were di...

Despite Rise in New Cases, Breast Cancer Deaths Continue to Fall

Deaths from breast cancer are still declining in the United States, even as more women are being diagnosed with the disease, a new report shows.

Researchers from the American Cancer Society found that the national decline in breast cancer deaths, which began about 30 years ago, is still evident. Between 1989 and 2017, the overall death rate dropped 40%.

The pace of that ...

At-Risk Men May Also Benefit From Regular Mammograms

Mammography has saved hundreds of thousands of lives by detecting breast cancer early in women.

Could such regular X-ray screening also help men?

A new study argues there's potential benefit in regular mammograms for men who are at high risk of breast cancer.

Mammography accurately detected dozens of cases of breast cancer in nearly 1,900 men screened during a 12-year pe...

Can Older Women Stop Getting Mammograms?

Although regular screening mammograms can catch breast cancer early, new research suggests women over 75 who have chronic illnesses can probably skip this test.

The study findings indicate that women with chronic conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, would likely die from those conditions before developing breast cancer.

"For those 75 and over with chronic illness...

Despite Cancer Screening, 'Oldest Old' Have Low Survival Odds: Study

The oldest Americans have higher cancer screening rates but lower cancer survival rates than younger seniors, a new report shows.

Those 85 and older -- a group dubbed the oldest old -- are also less likely to have cancer surgery than their counterparts between 65 and 84 years of age.

Adults aged 85 and up are the fastest-growing age group in the United States, yet relatively...

Making Sense of Mammography Guidelines

Experts agree that detecting breast cancer early offers a better outlook, but when to start screenings and how often to have them has changed repeatedly.

The goal has been to balance early detection with the distress of false positives that lead to unnecessary testing. But leading medical organizations differ regarding the guidelines, making it incumbent on women (and men at risk for...

Could 3-D Mammograms Soon Be the Standard for Breast Cancer Screening?

More women are getting 3-D mammograms, which spot breast anomalies more accurately than traditional mammograms, a new study shows.

But there are big variations in use across the United States, the researchers noted.

Three-D mammography -- also called digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) -- combines low-dose X-rays with software that creates a three-dimensional image of the bre...